"Cage" singer Sean Peck enters the Continuum


Q: For those who aren’t familiar with you, tell me what we need to know about your band (short version).
A: “We are an old- school heavy metal band that has stuck with the classic metal style that has developed and been doing what we do since 1992. It’s been very successful for us. When it comes to this long forgotten genre we’re almost second to none.”

Q: Your website describes you as, “The sikkest, meanest and most vicious heavy metal band in the world.” Make that case to me.
A: “Haha. I think our manager came up with that. It’s really the song. You have to display your music ability, but the songs have to be catchy. We come from the Iron Maiden, Judas Priest school of metal. When I was a kid I remember going to huge shows, fighting my way to the stage, huge explosions, huge fires, insane energy that only classic heavy metal can deliver. We’re not necessarily innovative or revolutionary or anything, but most bands like that lose the imagination that we’ve been able to capture. It’s what attracted me as a fan of the music first, then wanting to be a singer. When we play live we’re able to deliver that huger- than- life arena metal experience. It takes a combination of everything; the look, the sound, the singing, the stage presence and the songs. You have to have all those elements together to really be something special. Don’t take my word for it, go online and read reviews of our live shows, they can probably tell it better than I could. Some of the reviews are so over the top, better than anything I could have wrote. So, there’s my case.

Q: I can certainly hear Maiden and Priest influences in your vocals. Would you say that these and others contributed to your own development as a musician and singer?
A: “I was a late bloomer as a singer. The leather and stuff like that, we decided early that we’re gonna go out there and look like a metal band. Not shorts and shirts like some of us just walked in off the streets and decided to jump on stage. So, the look has been an important part of what we do. As a singer I was a late bloomer. I didn’t get into metal until I was 16, so I wasn’t really a singer, just a fan of the music. I was kind of a class- clown kid that made funny voices and impersonations. When I was really getting into metal I played air guitar and ran all over the room screaming. Then I decided, ‘maybe I could impersonate these.’ So I kind of taught myself how to sing and realized maybe I could do this. It turned out it’s a lot harder than it looks. Being able to make the sounds is one thing, being able to perform them correctly is quite another. It’s only in the last six or seven years that I’ve really come into my own and been able to deliver the most full- on crushing live performance. It’s taking me a while to really get all the tools. Every album fans can hear that not only is the band progressing, but me as a singer, I’m progressing more as a singer than I ever have before. What I’m singing now I couldn’t have even thought of singing on the first album. I’m always looking to get better and always looking to push the limits.”

Q: “The science of annihilation” is your most recent work. Tell me about this album. What it’s all about conceptually, etc.
A: “We had just come off a big concept album, “hell destroyer” which was like 80 minutes, with a full- on graphic novel and illustrations with an over the top apocalyptic story and segue pieces. We had just come off of doing the most epic of concept albums. For this one we wanted to go back to basics, stripped down, grab a bottle of Jack Daniels and put the pedal to the metal and crank the science of annihilation album. We got a new drummer, Norm Leggio, formerly of Psychotic Waltz. Waltz was one of the first pioneers of the prog- rock movement. In Europe they were on the verge of becoming superstars out there. They toured like 13 times or something. Like any successful, ground- breaking band, they broke up just in the nick of time. The drummer we picked up and Norm is a real student of drumming. It was his new level of technicality and speed that put elements of thrash that allowed us to make this album that was even more vicious than Hell Destroyer, which led to a faster, more speed, overall album. The theme of the record is more of a cosmic vibe, especially with the science of annihilation trilogy. The song at the end is like a guy who gets killed on the battlefield and becomes a demigod. He becomes the specter of war and through the ages he eventually meets god way in the future as the universe is collapsing on itself. We make jokes that on hell destroyer we destroyed the earth, but on this one we destroy the whole universe. Now we’re trying to figure out on the next record what the heck is left to destroy… we’re in a quandary right now.”

Q: Do you write all the lyrics or is it more of a group effort?
A: “I write all the lyrics and all the song titles usually. I come from a really comic book, science fiction, conspiracy theory kind of background. The only thing I haven’t really written about yet is sasquatch. I’ve been joking online that next I’m gonna be writing, “scream of the Yeti.” I did write two songs about comic- book characters on this album. “Planet crusher” and “spirit of vengeance” which were about the silver surfer and galactus and the ghostrider, so I did get some of my comic- book nerdyness out on this record and its actually been going really well. We’re already working on the new album and I’m working on a song right now on Dr. Doom because he’s one of my favorite villains. Comic books and heavy metal go hand in hand as far as I’m concerned… just like chicks with guns!”

Finish the following sentences:
The best thing about touring is: “The adventure and the camaraderie.”

When you hear current metal on the radio today you feel: “One of the things is that we play a lot of all ages shows now. We’re with a lot of the screamo bands. We completely make them look one- dimensional because the screamo stuff with all the hardcore singing… I don’t see how any of them will stand the test of time. I don’t see 20 years from now how ‘bury your dead’ is gonna be a classic band on some classic rock channel. Like, “we play only the 2000’s on this station.” With those screamo bands, I don’t see how we’ll ever be able to distinguish any of them apart. That whole genre, the musicianship is a lot of killer stuff. But when they start with, “this song is called despair” and then that’s the only part of the song you understand the whole way through. You’re losing half of the power of the music since the words are indiscernible and that’s my opinion on that. I’m not down on the nu- metal thing because it brought metal out of the abyss to where now the metal roots are far into the ground now that it will never get kicked to the curb again like it was.

The most underrated band in the world is: “Cage”

The most overrated band in the world is: “Nickelback.” “A band that sells like a gazillion copies, people probably don’t even know how many they sell. I actually like a couple of their songs, but the level of massiveness that they’ve reached is really astounding. I think they sold like 6 million copies of their last album and I don’t know if anyone reading this could tell even one song off that record. I liked them a little more after I read the singer’s interview in Playboy magazine. It turns out that he used to rob cars and be a total badass…”

Q: You guys have quite a hectic touring schedule. What has that been like and what have been some of your favorite venues and Cities to play in?
A: “Our whole thing is that we did this kind of backwards. Like most people get in a band and start out and tour all over. Then after about five years they never make it, so they burn up and fade out. We’re kinda the opposite. We started kinda local and played but never really toured. We had opportunities overseas and a lot of acclaim on our last album. So what we did was kind of sacrificed the success of the band for personal lives. We all have families and we’re all pretty well financially set just because we’ve taken some really good career paths. If we’d have been doing the Winnebago and macaroni and cheese tours we’d have never achieved the financial freedom. Now that we’ve got that and we’re five albums in, we’re finding ourselves semi- retired, it’s like now that we’re older we can go out and play all these places, which is kinda cool because we’re like a hundred times better now then we were then, plus we have all this amazing material to choose from. Our first full tour was in May in Europe. We’d played a lot of festivals and a lot of little shows, but that was our first full length tour, here on our fifth album. It really worked out great because we had already built a big fanbase and they flocked in to see us. We got to stay in nice accommodations and travel nice. It was an interesting strategy and it cost the band some popularity in progression. We keep slowly building up the mountain and it’s been kinda nice this way.”

Q: September 11th you’ll hit the Prog Power USA X Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. What can you tell me about that and what are your expectations for that event?
A: “Prog power USA, the guy has been doing it ten years at least. It’s always sold out. It’s in Atlanta. And this guy basically flies in all the killer underground heavy metal and prog metal bands that you would like never see in the United States. He flies them in and they all conglomerate at the show. It’s just an amazing two days of European and South American, with some killer American bands. There’s always some special reunion or something going on, some kind of one time event. This year is no exception and this is our first year playing this thing. The line up is really cool and the people that go there are like the top thousand hardcore, deeply into it metal fans in the world. They buy every record and know all your songs and know when you play a solo wrong and say like, “I noticed you missed a note on blackbeard revolves and the solo was a little off. It’s just a really cool event because it’s the most into it metal people. The promoter rewards everyone by bring the top talent in the world in, bands that you would never see unless you flew into Holland or something. We’re really excited about playing it. It’s on September 11th and I’m a pretty big patriot so I think for the final song I’m gonna put on the Captain America baseball jersey, take off one of my leather coats and show some Captain America action.

Q: Ok, here’s your free chance. Plug your website(s), album(s), shows, other bands, whatever ya want!
A: “Our website is cage@heavymetal.com. You can go on there and get any of the CD’s and shirts. We’ve got a pretty cool store there where you can get all the stuff. It’s probably the easiest place to get the record. Our record has been our for a while but it will probably be in in about three weeks. We’re pretty excited about that. Myspace.com/cageheavymetal and I think twitter.com/cageheavymetal. We’ve been having fun with the twitter, like we played a show outside of Pheonix and the car broke down. We’re like ‘car broke down, mechanic just pulled up.’ Ten minutes later it’s like, ‘looks like it’s the pump.’ All the full intimate Cage dealings are on that account. On the 12th and 13th we’re playing two shows in New York. One at the Binghamton metal fest. We’re a co- headliner at that, we’re really excited about that. It’s gonna be pretty cool; it’s for cancer which is near and dear to my heart. Then we’re playing our first show in New York City at the club Europa on Sunday the 13th. We’ve had a ton of people in New York saying, ‘ya gotta come play,’ so we’re finally making it our there. Then on the 9th we’re playing the state theater in Tampa. We played Tampa before and had a really great time and we’re really looking forward to that, so that’s a little run. Then we gotta hide back deep in the studio and start getting some writing put together before we head to Mexico in November for a couple of big shows in Mexico City, Monterey and Guadalajara I think. It’s gonna be fun, it’s gonna be an adventure. Now people pay us to come out and play. One of the things is that we’re kinda known for our live performance. So anyone that comes to see us, or promoters that risk it and put down their hard- earned money for us to play, we deliver the goods. We’ve never had anyone say, ‘ya, it was cool, but you didn’t do this or that.’ They’re always like, ‘oh my God, we’ve gotta have you back.’ It’s been a long hard road trying to get to that point. 16 years. Thanks to people like you and people that put out webzines and internet radio and stuff that really support metal in general. It’s a really tight- knit underground community and I really appreciate people like you putting in their time and effort toward the webzine. It’s a labor of love and I wanna make sure I thank people like you for doing what you do and having me on. We have a San Jose trip coming up so we’ll definitely let you know and have you come out.”

We will be in touch with these guys in the future for sure. Keep your eyes open for more, as always, here in the continuum.

More CAGE news can be found at:
http://www.sonicbids.com/cageheavymetal

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